When NOT to Fertilize

It’s summertime! Chances are, you’re doing your due diligence in keeping that grass nice and watered, keeping pets at bay and mitigating for all that foot traffic in the backyard. You’re mowing at a steady weekly pace, and keeping tabs on all the weeds that inevitably pop up. 
 
One thing you probably shouldn’t be doing, though? Fertilizing. 
 
Today’s Homeowner puts it simply: “If spring lawn care is about getting your lawn healthy and green, summer lawn care is about KEEPING it healthy while temperatures soar and rainfall becomes a fleeting memory.”
 
Hunker says to fertilize only on days “where temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit and conditions are slightly overcast.” That’s just not gonna happen in North Texas for most of the summer. 
 
Popular Mechanics gets a bit more specific, saying “the very best time to fertilize your lawn is in the spring, when the soil temperature reaches about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll know when the soil warms up to 55 because the lilacs will begin to blossom and the grass will start growing. For most parts of the country, that means the first feeding should take place by about mid to late April.”
 
If it’s the summer months, it’s too late for this.
 
Well, in North Texas during June, July and August, temperatures regularly flirt with triple-digits. The Dallas area averages a high of 92 degrees/low of 73 degrees in June, 96/77 in July and 96/77 in August. 
 
But what happens when your lawn turns brown, or there are dead or bare spots, and you’re really wanting to fertilize to try to get things back on track? 
 
Resist that temptation! Summer fertilization can prove damaging to your lawn — it can burn the existing grass. And even the little growth that could occur will be fragile in the summer weather (and will likely not survive the temperatures). 
 
While regular fertilization isn’t a great idea in the summertime for all the aforementioned reasons, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain kind of special fertilizations that will be beneficial to your lawn. 
 
The first one is simply to let the lawn clippings from your weekly mowing do their job. Leave them alone and let them bring valuable nutrients back into the grass. Lots of people tend to bag these clippings and toss them in their yard debris cans, but they’re missing out on serious (free!) benefits to their lawn. 
 
But if you don’t want to do that, for reasons of appearance, SF Gate says “fertilize it with a slow-release fertilizer when it begins actively growing in the spring. These coated granules release nitrogen into the soil over a period of weeks and reduce the potential of burning your grass by applying too much fertilizer.”
 
Popular Mechanics also recommends slow-release fertilizers:
 
“The most nitrogen you need on a lawn is one-tenth of a pound per week. The grass can't get any greener than that. If you use more, you're only going to make the grass grow faster so you have to mow more often. The secret is to get it as green as possible without growing it fast."
 
Now, while the North Texas Lawns year-round treatment plan involves a May/June and July treatment, these aren’t your regular fertilizer treatments. Nope, no in the summer. The May/June treatment entails slow-releasing nutrients that are specifically engineered for the late spring, and the July treatment is less of a fertilizer and more of a mixture designed to strengthen grass roots and prevent grub worms from taking hold. 
 
Take the guesswork out of the whole fertilizing process. North Texas Lawns has a tried and true fertilization plan that involves six treatments throughout the year that fits the weather, plans ahead and keeps threats at bay. It’s never the wrong time of year to get started.

Give North Texas Lawns a call for a free estimate, and to get the ball rolling on a healthy summer/fall/winter/spring lawn. 

 

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